Archive for October, 2011

Multilateralism works! An insider’s analysis of Basel COP10

October 26, 2011 Leave a comment

By Hana Heineken, Law Fellow

My very first COP experience, the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention in Cartagena, Colombia, was hailed by delegates, observers, and the UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner as the most successful Basel COP in the history of the Basel Convention.  I was fortunate to have joined CIEL’s delegation that participated in such a momentous event.

COP10 began with Read more…


Vaccines and the Draft Mercury Treaty

October 24, 2011 1 comment

by Baskut Tuncak

Last week, the Associated Press reported that the international treaty being negotiated to address mercury pollution could ban vaccines that use mercury as a preservative. The preservative, thiomersal (also known as thimerosal), is widely used in vaccines that are distributed in sub-Saharan Africa and other regions where refrigeration may not be available. The AP article included quotes from experts that an absolute ban on thiomersal would be “ridiculous” and “a terrible idea.”

The only problem with the article’s premise is that the chance of governments agreeing to an absolute ban on mercury vaccines is about as good as the Tea Party endorsing President Obama’s reelection and demanding that the United States ratify the Kyoto global warming treaty: Read more…

Categories: Chemicals Tags: ,

Basel COP10: Shipbreaking, E-Waste, and Global Waste Management

October 13, 2011 Leave a comment

Laura Drummond, Law Fellow

By Laura Drummond, Law Fellow

The Tenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention (COP10) will be held in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia from October 17-21, 2011. Adopted in 1989, the Basel Convention now boasts 178 State Parties. The overall objective of the treaty is to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of hazardous wastes.   In order to achieve this, the Convention requires Parties to limit the transboundary movement of waste, and only allows the export of waste with the prior informed consent of the importing state.  The theme of COP10 is “Prevention, minimization and recovery of wastes.” COP10 will be particularly important in determining the future of the Convention. Read more…